About the Campaign

 

We are a group of young people from around British Columbia who want to remove barriers to accessing prescription contraception. 

We set up the AccessBC organizing committee in January 2017. Since this time we have done everything from conduct research, meet with MLAs and ministerial staff, engage in awareness raising and outreach activities, and consult with government, all towards the goal of making all prescription contraception in BC free. 

We are encouraging people to write into their MLA to ask the to make contraception free in BC!

The AccessBC Committee

 

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

 

Dr. Phelps Bondaroff became a supporter of free prescription contraception after he encountered this policy while completing his graduate studies in the UK. After returning home and discovering that this was not the case in Canada, he helped launch the AccessBC Campaign.

He has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and BAs in political science and international relations from the University of Calgary. He is active as an independent academic researcher, the Director of Research for OceansAsia, and the Research Coordinator for the BC Humanist Association.  

A long-time supporter of high school debate, Teale works as a high school debate coach at various schools around Vancouver Island. Prior to becoming an independent debate coach, he worked at Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria, where he also taught grade 9 health, an experience that demonstrated to him the importance of effective sex education.

Devon Black

 

Devon has been working on sexual and reproductive health issues for over 10 years, starting as an intern with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada’s International Women’s Health Program in 2008. Since then, she has kept up her focus on sexual and reproductive rights in her education, volunteer work, and career, including volunteer work with the University of Ottawa Women’s Centre and the White Ribbon Society for Maternal Health. More recently, Devon spent four years serving as secretary of Island Sexual Health Society's board of directors.

Devon has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria. She currently works as a lawyer in Victoria, BC, where part of her practice involves investigating and litigating issues of workplace discrimination and harassment. She is currently serving as Legal Officer for the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Georgetown, Guyana.

Devon supports universal access to contraception because she knows what a difference improved sexual and reproductive health access can make for individuals and for communities. She hopes you’ll do what you can to support AccessBC’s campaign!

Melanie Kleinschmidt

 

Melanie is 22 year old political science and gender studies student at the University of Victoria. She is a passionate advocate for progressive grassroots initiatives that aid in the production of a society that boldly stands for justice, emancipation, and equality. Melanie wants to eliminate the barriers that BC residents faced in obtaining prescription birth control. In her spare time she enjoys re-purposing objects from local thrift stores, being in nature playing with her dog, and pursuing musical endeavours.

Sydney Hara

 

Sydney is a 22 year old SFU geography graduate with a passion for lifting up others. She works in learning and development, as well as in group fitness. Sydney got involved in AccessBC because she believes free prescription contraception is an attainable and affordable way to combat gender inequality. She has a passion for social justice, is channelling her energy into the campaign because it is good for public health, good for women, and good for the economy, which in turn is good for everyone.

Isabella Lee


Isabella Lee since high school has herself felt and from friends heard the need for free prescription contraceptives. For students paying hundreds of dollars for contraceptives can be impossible, in many cases contraceptives are needed for people to live a healthy life. That is why she joined the @AccessBC Campaign team.

She is a third-year sociology student at the University of Victoria. Isabella works for the Student Society and is on the University Senate. She is an activist for women’s rights and has been a member of the Women’s Center on campus since she started school. Through her work she has seen the need for free contraceptives for everyone in BC.

Jonathan Granirer

 

Jonathan Granirer is a third year student studying Political Science at the University of Victoria, and he is the president of the UVic Lego Club. Jonathan  is a young activist who is passionate about environmental activism and social justice. He first became concerned with universal prescription birth control after seeing his friends struggle to access prescription birth control due to financial barriers. He believes that it is important that British Colombians have access to prescription birth control regardless of their socio-economic class.

Bree Gardner

 

Bree is a multi-disciplinary activist originally hailing from Dartmouth, NS. Trans-spectrum, chronically ill, queer, disabled, and experiencing poverty, Bree’s primary focus is on Safer Spaces, Harm Reduction, and Access to Healthcare. They are an abortion doula certified through Full Spectrum Doula Collective Canada, and a practicing herbalist. Bree has worked with music festivals across the country to provide safer spaces and harm reduction policies, spoken at numerous conferences, regularly teaches workshops, and formerly hosted a podcast addressing the ongoing concerns of grassroots organizing - particularly as it pertains to queer and trans-spectrum folks.

Jasmine MacGregor

 

Jasmine is a second year student studying political science, French and communications at the University of Victoria. In her spare time she enjoys thrifting, volunteering at the UVSS Food Bank and Free Store, drinking coffee, and knitting. She is the co-president of the UVic NDP and the co-research chair of Equal Voice UVic. She joined the AccessBC team because she believes that cost should not be a barrier to accessing contraception.

Jelayna Van Dyke

 

Jelayna is completing a degree in Political Science and Gender Studies as majors and Art History as a minor at the University of Victoria. After completing her post-secondary schooling, she plans to become a sexual health educator. In her spare time she loves to spend time with friends, go out for coffee or food, and consume all types of art and media.

Mykayla Riley

 

Mykayla is a recent graduate of SFU where she focused her studies on economic geography and the uneven distribution of land and wealth. Mykayla is driven by the desire to help all beings, including animals, as she is a devout vegan and animal rights activist. Growing up in rural northern BC, Mykayla witnessed a lack of education regarding women's reproductive rights and believes that free universal contraceptives can be used to educate and empower women in all communities in BC.

Samantha Castleman

 

Samantha Castleman is a 22 year old activist. As a young woman who grew up with financial barriers, she became aware earlier on to how difficult accessing birth control can be. She believes Canadians should have the right to all forms of contraception, and that it should be covered in our health care system due to it being necessary for many to pursue happy, healthy, and productive lives. Her lifelong passions include psychology, international politics, archery, diplomacy, and art. She hopes to work in the public sector one day.

Declan Roberts

 

Declan is a 22 year old UVic political science and literature graduate. He has worked on municipal, provincial, and federal election campaigns while also working on his degree. Declan wants to find ways to better the world through a myriad of means, whether it be through direct action, or more indirect campaigns. Growing up he routinely saw the difficult choices imposed on his friends that involved deciding between being able to pay for birth control and being able to pay for other necessities. This is what spurred on his desire to work on this campaign, and ensure that others no longer needed to face that choice.

Declan Roberts

 

Declan is a 22 year old UVic political science and literature graduate. He has worked on municipal, provincial, and federal election campaigns while also working on his degree. Declan wants to find ways to better the world through a myriad of means, whether it be through direct action, or more indirect campaigns. Growing up he routinely saw the difficult choices imposed on his friends that involved deciding between being able to pay for birth control and being able to pay for other necessities. This is what spurred on his desire to work on this campaign, and ensure that others no longer needed to face that choice.

Erica Cronin

 

Erica is a registered nurse. She works in adult medicine, palliative care, labour, and delivery. She has volunteered for the Sexual Assault Response Team for six years. Erica is passionate about sexual health and reproductive justice.

Justin Kulik

 

Justin is a student hailing from Kelowna. He has campaigned on matters close to his heart. Most notably, he launched a petition regarding food waste from supermarkets which has, to date, received over 200 000 signatures. He has also worked on various campaigns including the 2018 British Columbia Referendum on Electoral Reform and was a volunteer for the BC Humanist Association House of Prayer Project. Justin recently ran for parliament in Kelowna-Lake Country.

Still young, he plans to continue working on issues that matter to him, and to those around him. Justin encourages the young people of British Columbia to stand up and make their voices heard.

Tina Madani Kia

 

Tina is a student at the University of British Columbia studying Immunology and Physiology. She has always been interested in social justice and after taking a public health course about pharmacare, she also became interested in public policy and social movements. She hopes to one day work in healthcare.

Amelia Brooker

 

Amelia is a student at the University of British Columbia, and is passionate about English literature and creative writing. She is a member of the British Columbia Youth Parliament and is committed to making positive change in Canadian government. She joined the AccessBC campaign with a personal interest in universal pharmacare and reproductive health. Amelia would like to encourage others to stand up for what they believe in, and let younger people know especially that their activism can make a difference.

Jessamyn Hung

 

Jessamyn is an advocate for sexual and reproductive health justice. They strongly believe in challenging systematic inequality to improve accessibility of care for all! Jessamyn has a background in sexual health workshop facilitation with Vancouver Coastal Health and is currently working on a continued series of supportive parenting workshops for Chinese-Canadian parents of LBGTQ+ youth.

Dr. Ruth Habte

 

Dr. Ruth Habte is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Resident at the University of British Columbia. She completed her undergraduate degree in pharmacy and practiced as a pharmacist in Manitoba while attending medical school at the University of Manitoba. She is passionate about reproductive health, global health, and advocacy.

 

Ruth believes her background gives her a unique perspective on how access to contraceptives affects people’s lives. She supports universal coverage of prescription contraceptives, as she has witnessed too many instances where people were unable to access contraception due to cost. 

Sophie Heizer

 

Sophie is a multimedia journalist born on Vancouver Island in the rural community of Yellow Point. A dual Canadian-Australian citizen, she completed one year of university education at the University of Victoria before moving to Melbourne, Australia, to complete her studies in journalism at RMIT University. During the final year of her degree Sophie was offered a permanent role at The Conversation, an independent source of news and views sourced from Australia's academic and research community. She acted as the Commissioning Editor of the Education section for just under two years before returning to the island to become a full-time Canadian again.

 

Sophie has a strong background in politics and education, having studied, written about, and published on the topics for the past five years. She also has a broad spectrum of interests beyond politics and education including rugby (which she also currently plays), sewing and crafts, art, travel, books, podcasts, philosophy, food, science, self-care, and her cat Lenny.

Dr. Karyn Fulcher

 

Karyn is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Her approach to research is about as interdisciplinary as it gets: anthropology, sociology, and education, with some public health thrown in for good measure. She loves learning about almost any topic related to sexuality or sexual health, but her research focuses on the sexual health and well-being of young people, sex education, and reproductive justice, including access to contraception.

Nazanin Moghadami

 

Nazanin is an Iranian-Canadian feminist and clinical counsellor, based in East Vancouver. She has a masters degree in counselling psychology and in-depth training in trauma-informed care. Nazanin believes that in order to improve a person’s mental health, there needs to be change on many levels, not only person to person in the therapy room; but that policy and systemic changes can vastly impact individuals’ mood and mental health. That is why, when she is not working in her private practice, she sits on boards and advisory committees, works on campaigns like this one, and engages folks in both community and formal political levels.

She believes removing barriers (especially cost) for women and anyone with uteruses, accessing prescription contraception can positively impact their quality of life, reduce stigma, increase sexual health, and empower folks to make independent decisions about their bodies. She thinks this would be very helpful for young people, those living in rural BC, people of color, and those who live with endometriosis (a condition impacting about 1,800,000 Canadians).

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We are a group of young people from around British Columbia calling for free prescription contraception.

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